Managing stress over the festive period

The Christmas period is typically a time to connect with others and celebrate; though for many, it can be anything but merry as stress levels soar.
 
‘There’s not enough time’, ‘I need a break’ or having to bite your tongue at Uncle Chris’ world views over a meal. If you find this time of year to be overwhelming, you are not alone.
 
The health and well-being experts at HBP share some of their tips - including short videos on breathing, gratitude, and mindfulness. Learn about and practice some of these strategies in the lead up to Christmas to help make this Christmas a merrier time.  
 
Why breathing matters
Breathing – we all do it without thinking, every minute of every day, but are we maximising its full power? Focused breathing can reduce our stress, increase our alertness and improve our mental health. HBP Group’s resident psychologist Dr Erin Kelly explains how we can tap into the breath’s full power in this short Breathing Video.
 
Taking Action: Breathe deep – take three long, slow, deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and feeling the abdomen expand and then breathe out through the mouth. Just doing this for a few seconds helps reduce the “fight or flight” or stress reflex.
 
Practising gratitude
If there is one thing that can make the biggest difference to our health and happiness, expressing gratitude could well be it. It has been proven to have a whole host of health benefits, which impacts not only you, but also everyone else in your life too. And the more we practice it, the better we become at noticing the good things around us. Watch this Gratitude Video where Dr Kelly explains more about gratitude, how it can improve your health and some tips to try.
 
Taking Action: Three things – at the end of the day write down three things you appreciated in your day. It’s a great activity to do over dinner with your friends and family too.
 
Mindfulness
Mindfulness is essentially being and knowing you are in the present moment. Just like relaxation breathing it has the potential to have a huge impact on our mental wellbeing by reducing our fight or flight response. In this short Mindfulness Video , Dr Kelly explains more about what mindfulness can do and some tips to incorporate it into your day.
 
Taking Action: Smell the coffee – when you have your next coffee (or tea) take a minute to notice the smell, the heat, how it feels in your nose and throat.
 
Need more support?
For confidential counselling services contact one of the below services, available 24/7:
  • Lifeline – Anyone having a personal crisis 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue – Anyone feeling anxious or depressed 1300 224 636
  • Kids Helpline – Counselling for young people aged 5 to 25 1800 551 800
 
HBP Group are a Tasmanian based workplace health and wellbeing company. They provide a variety of services for workplaces throughout the country to create healthier and higher performing workplaces. To learn more or get in touch, contact them on admin@hbpg.com.au or 1300 655 530.
 
- Contributed by HBP Group
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